Facebook is twice as fast, but has anyone noticed?


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Last year, Facebook set out to make its site faster. After a long battle with rendering times and other Web issues, the company said it achieved its goal in December.

Making Facebook pages load twice as fast wasn’t an easy task. Jason Sobel, an engineer at Facebook, wrote on the company’s blog late Thursday that to double Facebook’s speed, engineers cut back on site cookies. They also broke each page into sections called ‘pagelets’ that allowed parts of a page to load when ready. Previously, pages would display only after all the items were fully loaded.


Although Facebook is proud of its accomplishments, it seems some users aren’t reaping the benefits of the company’s efforts. The comments section of Sobel’s blog post includes several complaints from users who are still experiencing slow load times.

One commenter wrote, ‘Facebook is way slow, even not loading at times.’ Another person said he or she wants Facebook to ‘deal with all the timeouts and connection errors’ that have slowed down the site.

The complaints didn’t stop in the blog’s comments section. A quick search of Facebook reveals several status updates complaining that the site is too slow. Those complaints are filtering in every few minutes.

Improving Facebook’s speed won’t be easy. The site is growing at a rapid rate with more than 400 million active users adding billions of pieces of content each week. The challenges of improving its speed, let alone maintaining it, will continue.

Hopefully for Facebook, more users will recognize those speed differences the next time it succeeds in doing so.

-- Don Reisinger